I thought the days of British car-makers dragging defeat from the jaws of victory were long gone in the modern era of more professional management. But Land Rover’s absence from the Cobo Hall on the day the Evoque scooped the prestigious North American Truck of the Year must rank as one of the dumbest marketing decisions made by Brits for a long time.
Given the historical importance of the US market to JLR, and Land Rover in particular, the decision to turn its back on Detroit was a strange one in itself, regardless of whether a major gong was in the offing.
In past years, Jaguar has exported half its output to the US and in dark times, sales in America kept the company afloat. Land Rover is less reliant on the US, but the world’s biggest SUV market is still hugely significant to a company whose sales are dominated by 4x4s.
But you also have to wonder why Land Rover’s US operation was not able to feedback the significance of a possible Evoque win to HQ in Gaydon?
And then how the Gaydon management machine failed to join-the-dots and at least consider that the Evoque might be a short-listed contender for NA ToTY, therefore making an appearance at Detroit essential?